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Experts’ Awards and Economic Success: Evidence from an Italian Literary Prize

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Abstract

Product quality is often unobservable ex-ante and consumers rely on experts’ judgments, sometimes coming under the form of ratings or awards. Do awards affect consumers’ choices or they are conferred to the most popular products? To disentangle this issue, we use data of the most important Italian Literary Prize, the “Strega Prize”, undertaking two different estimation strategies to evaluate the impact on book sales of being awarded the Prize. First, we adopt a Regression Discontinuity Design using as dependent variable a measure of book sales and as forcing variable (proxying for intrinsic book quality) the jury votes received by each nominated book in the competition. We find a very strong impact of the Strega Prize on sales. Second, using weekly data on appearances in bestseller lists, we estimate a difference-in-differences model, comparing sales performance of treated and control books before the award is conferred with their respective performance afterwards. The results confirm a huge influence of the Prize on book sales and show that most of the impact occurs in the weeks following the announcement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 335.

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Date of creation: 27 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:335

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Keywords: Cultural Economics; Awards; Literary Prize; Book Sales; Product Quality; Regression Discontinuity Design; Difference-in-Differences model.;

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References

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  1. Victor Ginsburgh, 2003. "Awards, success and aesthetic quality in the arts," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1679, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  3. Hilger, James & Rafert, Greg & Villas-Boas, Sofia B, 2011. "Expert Opinion and the Demand for Experience Goods: An Experimental Approach in the Retail Wine Market," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt4nc7h417, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  4. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jonah Berger & Alan T. Sorensen & Scott J. Rasmussen, 2010. "Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: When Negative Reviews Increase Sales," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(5), pages 815-827, 09-10.
  6. GINSBURGH, Victor & VAN OURS, Jan C., . "Expert opinion and compensation: evidence from a musical competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1617, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Eva Deuchert & Kossi Adjamah & Florian Pauly, 2005. "For Oscar Glory Or Oscar Money?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 159-176, August.
  8. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  9. Richard Friberg & Erik Gr�nqvist, 2012. "Do Expert Reviews Affect the Demand for Wine?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 193-211, January.
  10. Héla Hadj Ali & Sébastien Lecocq & Michael Visser, 2005. "The impact of gurus : Parker grades and en primeur wine prices," Research Unit Working Papers 0507, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  11. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  12. Caroline Elliott & Rob Simmons, 2008. "Determinants of UK Box Office Success: The Impact of Quality Signals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 93-111, September.
  13. David A. Reinstein & Christopher M. Snyder, 2005. "THE INFLUENCE OF EXPERT REVIEWS ON CONSUMER DEMAND FOR EXPERIENCE GOODS: A CASE STUDY OF MOVIE CRITICS -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 27-51, 03.
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  1. Per la gloria o per il denaro?
    by info@crusoe.it in Robinson Crusoe on 2013-10-18 10:00:00

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